Resolution, as defined by Webster, is “firm determination”. So, it is with much determination (although I don’t know how firm), that I annually compile my mental list of goals, commitments and projects that would be nice to accomplish in the coming year.
For years my list began with “lose 10 pounds”. Two years ago I changed that to a simple “be healthy” and recommit to that each year. A change in wording works wonders.
I have also resolved to be more organized, more conscious of how I spend my time and put more effort into activities to which I am already committed. This year, however, I resolve to say no, to prescribe to the theory that less is more, and not fill every empty space on my calendar with a meeting.
I resolve to leave house cleaning in the dust for farming with my son or dancing with my daughter.
I resolve to sit on the porch and read a magazine when it arrives instead of adding it the growing pile of rainy day reading. And when a rainy day does come, I will read something from that pile.
And finally, I resolve – recommit – to engaging in productive conversations about farming, food and agriculture. This will be difficult to some extent. Listening to the anti-whatever mantra that activists throw around so easily provides good reasons for me to log out and resume my drama-free days living and farming corn, beans, cows and pigs. But, today I resolve to just say no.
I say no to the accusations that corn is evil and that the way we choose – on our farm –to raise it is wrong. I say no to folks who start every conversation accusing Monsanto and instead say yes to those who honestly want to hear my opinion as much as I honestly want to hear theirs.
I say no to the factions who believe that a container garden will solve the world hunger problem, and say yes to those who recognize that we MUST embrace an ever evolving food production system that incorporates technology and science with our basic understanding of Mother Nature.
I say no to individuals who refuse to listen, because as a farmer I have been told, schooled and trained that the future of my farm hinges on my ability to listen, and I AM LISTENING and deserve that same courtesy.
2013 is our year to say no to conversations that mirror those in Congress and instead with firm determination decide to abide by the Golden Rule. That is my resolution. What is yours?